Tournament Idea: Crafting and Rune-Centric Playthrough -- Feedback Welcome

PhineasB

Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
1,184
1,117
113
I figured that I’d tick off a 2021 goal sooner than later :)

I’ve enjoyed my single pass tourney playthroughs, but I am interested in a break from the standard approach of pumping MF through gambling and shopping and following the merc to maximize drop potential. I’ve been pondering a rule-set that would reward full-clears while also providing incentives to maximize the character’s firepower from the start. I circled around to a rune-centric tournament, specifically with crafts at the center, but also not too restrictive to turn off people who are new to tourneys or HC or just wanting a fun but somewhat challenging way to reach Guardian. I came across this older tournament in the compendium as inspiration.

Here’s the concept:
  • Single pass only, full-clear not required.
  • No class, skill, stat, or merc restrictions; respecs permitted.
  • Gear restricted to crafted items (with rewards noted below giving flexibility).
  • But crafting restriction doesn’t kick in until A2 NM due to limited ingredients.
  • But-but items are limited before A2 NM to something using a rune (e.g., item of any type socketed with a rune, upgraded item, Runeword) or reward items (as noted below).
  • Rewards: Akara ring, Charsi imbue, Ormus ring, Anya reward item, Anya personalized item can be used throughout.
  • No restriction on charms.
  • Quest items can be equipped only as needed to complete quests.
  • No scoring or prize, but major style points for anyone who finishes with a Vex+ runeword enabled via reward quest.
  • Tournament name will be a bad pun because that’s the way I roll :p
Rationale:
  • The gear restrictions limit incentive to pick up all gold piles and items to sell for gambling, speeding up early play and the journey through NM.
  • In theory, it may still be worth it to gamble weapons and armor in hopes of socketed rare for use before A2 NM (I think Mechanic’s affix is somewhat rare though). But it’s much less important given how tame Normal generally is.
  • No need for MF boots or gloves early on, and Topaz luck is not really important. The real focus will be on gems and runes to work toward crafting.
  • The rewards allow some flexibility, in particular personalization from Anya, and reward rings will allow some jewelry until crafting is possible.
  • I worried it might be too many reward items, but I think the odds of great ones are limited relative to crafts for rings and imbuing is a crapshoot always. And the personalization reward still makes for hard choices (e.g., using for merc Insight in A2 NM means wasting one on an exceptional base that will likely lose steam in Hell).
  • Allowing any item that’s socketed with a rune before A2 NM is intended to keep Normal from bogging down: savage recipe can be used and then rerolled with chippies to socket for A2 merc early on to keep merc useful into late Normal.
Questions:
  • I’m still not sure on balance when characters reach end-game.
  • Weapons, in particular, are limited in crafting, especially for Mercs (although great weapon is certainly possible). That was a big reason for allowing imbue and personalization rewards, assuming at least one personalization will likely be needed for merc’s end-game weapon.
  • I thought about focus on melee because casters aren’t as impacted by restrictions. But they will also potentially lose out on some +skills to keep it interesting. And this isn’t intended to be a really hard set of rules, and I wouldn’t want someone to skip participation because they had their hearts set on a caster Guardian.
Feedback is most welcome. If there's enough interest, I'll aim to post next weekend if there's interest. Cheers!
 
Mar 14, 2020
5,017
370
83
37
Germany
Hi PhineasB!

It is good to see that people still come up with new tournaments! 👍

A few things:

1. Just to be clear: with crafted items you mean crafted items specifically (Blood, Hit Power, Safety, Caster) and not items craftd with the cube, right? (I tried once a version with restrictions to all cube modified items)
2. there is still an incentive to pick up items and gold, because you might need to gamble for the bases, which are expensive and chances for exceptional and esp. elite upgrade are low (you can't buy some of the elite bases from vendors IIRC)
3. Are we allowed to go back in difficulties to claim quest rewards?

Looks interesting, and probably really tough. The no restrictions on charms makes it manageable though, (I think???).

Archers are probably out, unless they find an good unique bow/crossbow early on to personalize...(looking at you, Witchwild String).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Babyhell

PhineasB

Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
1,184
1,117
113
Thanks Grisu. On 1, yes, I was thinking "crafted items" only, so they show up orange in inventory screen. On 2, I agree, but the incentive isn't quite as strong to eke out every gamble possible--more likely about having enough gold to ensure buying power when ready to gamble the next item. On 3, thanks for catching that. I had intended on not restricting changes to Difficulty to redeem quest rewards, but allowing only at the start of any given Act (to avoid map resets part way through any area).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Grisu and Babyhell
Mar 16, 2020
5,114
824
113
This sounds like fun and a way to see some neat (or really bad) crafted items from the lesser used recipes. I agree it will probably be tough, but would make for some interesting play.
Archers are probably out, unless they find an good unique bow/crossbow early on to personalize...(looking at you, Witchwild String).

They could also burn up an imbue on a bow. Not ideal, but at least it would let them still use their skills!
 

Dazliare

Active member
Mar 20, 2020
77
124
33
I would definitely join this. I've picked up my Random Tournament Paladin again and I'm enjoying it, and more d2 never hurt anyone!

I share your grievance that many tournament's early-ish game devolves into following a mercenary around and picking up as much as you can stand to sell for gp, so finding a way around that is a welcome change.

As far as balance goes, I tend to think that balance isn't much of a problem in tournaments. Tournament play is usually quite difficult by definition, and my guess is anyone participating is not very likely to choose something because of balance or lack thereof. There are obviously exceptions, but in general, I would't pick one class over another in a tournament like this because one is stronger or easier, and I think most folks around here are the same. I tend to pick whatever I feel like playing.

That said, adding a few niche rules to even things out a bit isn't all that difficult
 
  • Like
Reactions: PhineasB

Babyhell

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2020
1,831
1,328
113
France
I need an Assassin and a Sorc Guardians for this year's goals (wouldn't run with a Barb here IMO), so it would fit I guess.

I do think that a FA zon could be one of the best here, even a magezon in the end if the right tools are found, but the Valkyrie/FA combo should work nicely even with the first imbued bow, leaving the personalized items for runewords.

I'm in anyway, will think about my...Sin. Will probably reboot ItsATrap, she is only lvl19 and the name is too good to be left beside, so she'll get a rename!

For casters, MPK is hard to get somehow, so having a restriction on Insight would be too hard I guess - even if for a sorc it could be worked around with Warmth/energy stat. However, they still get the damage up with the skills, which is great enough by itself, as stated Melee feel like the hardest builds to succeed, because of the somehow constant need to upgrade weapons (exceptional/elite/good elite).

Also, one suggestion of a good idea from Random Tournament in my opinion:
- allowing rerunning, can be in a separate category, so if some feels taking this way they don't need to create their own thread beside if they feel so, because the other limitations are still very nice IMO. Less impressive, but still playing with the gear limitations. Some specific limitations could be added, like no rerunning of Countess/LK/Travincal/Cows in any difficulty.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: PhineasB
Mar 16, 2020
5,114
824
113
But-but items are limited before A2 NM to something using a rune (e.g., item of any type socketed with a rune, upgraded item, Runeword) or reward items (as noted below).

I'll also add that it will probably be pretty tough working with only starter gear + akara ring until you get to the Countess and the Catacombs when you'll see runes finally drop.
 

Luhkoh

Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 13, 2020
729
1,277
93
30
USA
I really like this idea. Most of the tournaments are too restrictive for my taste (I don't love not being able to choose my own stat/skill placement), and I may actually join this one. Idk if it would make things too tough, but if there's no restrictions on changing difficulty to redeem quest rewards, then I'd wait to personalize/imbue everything till end of nightmare at earliest. So didn't know if that's intended behavior. Also if I understand the rewards thing right, would probably want to keep mf high to drop a bonesnap or something to personalize right? Anwyays sounds great and I'll look forward to seeing it and/or participating!

And what about akara respecs?
 
  • Like
Reactions: PhineasB
Mar 14, 2020
5,017
370
83
37
Germany
Regarding early game play - if you don't want to make melee characters/builds dependant on weapon damage to be too tedious to play on Act II, you might want to consider allowing socketed items (or magical or rare or all items) in general till Act II, when runes are more easily obtainable.

Act I is still manageable without weapons on p8 even if you are restricted to the items you mentioned above. But having cleared Act I at p8 with explosive/choking gas potions only a few times already I can tell you it stops being fun after 2 hours xD.
 

PhineasB

Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
1,184
1,117
113
I'll also add that it will probably be pretty tough working with only starter gear + akara ring until you get to the Countess and the Catacombs when you'll see runes finally drop.
I had the same thought, and realize in looking back that I forgot to specify that white/grey items can also be equipped up until A1 NM. The goal is to avoid making the early game a slog, so that seems the minimum allowed (at least for belt slots, and to avoid gearless merc and having to punch monsters). But in keeping with goal of making it a needless slog and in light of the point @Grisu raised above, I'm inclined to update to allow socketing gems and jewels for A1 Normal only. Also, I forgot to make clear restrictions also apply to mercs.

So updated rules would be as follows (new text highlighted):
  • Single pass only, full-clear not required.
  • No class, skill, stat, or merc restrictions; respecs permitted from Akara reward at any time.
  • Gear restricted to crafted items (with rewards noted below giving flexibility); restrictions apply to merc also.
  • But crafting restriction doesn’t kick in until A2 NM due to limited ingredients.
  • But-but items are limited before A2 NM to plain white/grey items and throwing potions, something using a rune (e.g., item of any type socketed with a rune, upgraded item, Runeword) or reward items (as noted below). In A1 Normal only, however, items can be socketed with gems or jewels (so it isn't too much of a slog).
  • Rewards: Akara ring, Charsi imbue, Ormus ring, Anya reward item, and Anya personalized item can be used throughout.
  • No restriction on charms.
  • Quest items can be equipped only as needed to complete quests.
  • No scoring or prize, but major style points for anyone who finishes with a Vex+ runeword enabled via reward quest.
  • Tournament name will be a bad pun because that’s the way I roll
Per suggestion from @Babyhell I don't see any reason not to be flexible on single pass only if someone will participate only if that restriction is loosened. There isn't a real prize to claim, and it's entirely about fun. So I'd be open to entrants who want to be able to rerun, but no rerunning is allowed of targets for runes (Countess, LK, Trav or Cows). I can add a column to table noting Y/N for single pass status.
 
Mar 16, 2020
5,114
824
113
I was about to suggest no gear restrictions until Act II NM in order to save runes for crafting recipes, but I think the updates you just listed should work fine. I thought I might feel bad having to use runes in order to wear items instead of saving them for crafting recipes, but I suppose enough of them will drop if you do /p8 full clears to not make too much of a difference.
 

PhineasB

Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
1,184
1,117
113
I was about to suggest no gear restrictions until Act II NM in order to save runes for crafting recipes, but I think the updates you just listed should work fine. I thought I might feel bad having to use runes in order to wear items instead of saving them for crafting recipes, but I suppose enough of them will drop if you do /p8 full clears to not make too much of a difference.
That was my thought also, and it will make early NM a little more challenging perhaps. Thanks for the great feedback, everyone!
 

Babyhell

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2020
1,831
1,328
113
France
@PhineasB just for clarification - I think it's obvious, but I will ask anyway: before Act 2 NM, plain white/grey can't be equipped if they have any skill mod on it, unless a socketable one is found and rune socketed, right?
 
  • Like
Reactions: PhineasB
Mar 14, 2020
5,017
370
83
37
Germany
Since a Barb is the character I have not guardian'd yet in a tournament (and Assassin, but she is in late Act 5 Hell), I'd try a Barbarian.

Now I wonder what the best skill setup would be? Probably Frenzy with Axes because of the Blood Weapon recipe? What do you guys think?

Never played a Frenzy Barb before - gameplay looks messy and probably not safe for HC SP? Maybe I should stick to Concentrate?
 
  • Wow
Reactions: Babyhell

Babyhell

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2020
1,831
1,328
113
France
Safety spears are an option too, but no guaranteed ll. For real completing that run with a Barb (I'm not much of a barb player to be honest) would be too big of a deal for me, good luck!

Edit: after my drive back home, I would go Concentrate too.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Grisu
Mar 19, 2020
3,198
1,021
113
Canada
Ooo this looks fun. I'll be sorely tempted to join despite the lack of actual time to complete this. Maybe a slow-burn playthrough over a long time.

@Grisu - My experience with a crafting Barb in the old Living Colour tournament (I never did finish him though, I think he's parked in late NM/early Hell with his companion Sorc) was that they are viable, albeit slow (big surprise for a tourney barb right?). I played Concentrate with a big 2-H axe, blood crafted of course. He also used a safety-speared Town Guard as his companion, and it was great as far as he went. Those spears can get Amp IIRC on them, so that's a huge bonus.

I don't think Frenzy would be that much less safe as long as it isn't played super aggressively, as barbs without skill restrictions have a very good safety arsenal at their disposal. The tricky part will be crafting two viable weapons with limited resources, especially since you'll likely want to use Blood recipes on other items as well to get some CB/OW/DS for you and the merc.

You've definitely got the know-how and skills to pull this one off either way.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: PhineasB and Grisu
Mar 14, 2020
5,017
370
83
37
Germany
Edit: after my drive back home, I would go Concentrate too.
you mean after someone almost crashed into you while they were driving in a Frenzy which would have made you Whirlwind into a wall and into hospital? Better Concentrate while driving? Enough of the word games? Well, you can Howl as much as you want - I have Natural Resistance to complaints!

Seriously though: I don't know if Concentrate is too much of a slog...although BO is a synergy, which is nice! And the uninterruptible part I found to be most useful! It prevents block animation, too, IIRC?

@Pb_pal - thanks for the input (and the praise 🥰) - I think you are right about the resources - with Concentrate I only need one good weapon, whereas one good and one bad weapon for Frenzy can mess things up. Still I might try Frenzy for a change...I have to think about it some more, I guess...
 

Babyhell

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2020
1,831
1,328
113
France
@Grisu xD no, it didn't happen this way! I was just aBattle Cry after my brakes stopped to work, the Increased speed made me Leap over the tax barrier, right in front of policemen who went Berserk and broke through the Iron skin of my car so... yeah, I thought about being more focused at that time, thus the Concentrate conclusion.

Anyway, I AM STILL ALIIIIVE!!!
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Vildecor and Grisu

Norcim

Active member
Jul 21, 2020
23
153
28
I like it! The SPF definitely needs more tourneys (especially for those of us who like to deed early and often!). I don't think I've ever done any Safety crafting and probably only ever tried the gloves from the Hit Power recipes, so I'm excited to get to check some new things out.

I also think the exceptions to the crafted items are pretty reasonable. The Anya personalization opens some nice non-craft items but doesn't seem to overpower anything since you only play through Hell with a max of 2 of those for the vast majority of the journey. I generally would wait on using the personalization/imbue until end of NM/early Hell like @Luhkoh had mentioned but I could also see wanting to burn a personalization earlier than the end of NM if you were relying on something like a Rhyme shield as a CBF option and you didn't want to give that up for a bunch of NM.

One question about the "upgraded item" designation for pre-Act 2 NM items. Is this targetted at the cube recipes for upgrading from normal to exceptional for Rare/Unique items? Not sure it would come up before Act 2 NM since those runes are valuable for crafting, but just wanted to confirm for myself.

I think the plain white/grey items addition is a nice compromise for making the early game more palatable until runes start to show up. Allowing gem/jewel socketing in Act 1 Normal only should also really help, as a well equipped Rogue should be able to keep progress pretty smooth.

My gut feeling from previous tournaments is that the runes for most of the crafting recipes aren't as big of an issue by Act 2 NM but that perfect gems can be tough to have enough of. I kind of like that though, since you might craft using a different recipe at that time based on what you have instead of what you want, which is kind of cool. Amns, Thuls, and Sols could be in short supply but I feel like the other runes drop enough during full clears that they won't be that part that holds the initial crafting back.

Right now I'm thinking I'd go with a CS/LS or CS/LF java/spearzon with a Safety spear/javelin. The Arreat Summit says that javs can be crafted, but can anyone actually confirm that this is possible in the most recent version? What about Amazon specific spears/javs? I'm pretty sure the answer to both is yes but I don't actually have any chars at the moment so I can't test it out...

Looking forward to this!